Returning to the city-state of Excelis two centuries after
his last visit, the Doctor discovers a vicious totalitarian
regime at war with the rest of the planet Artaris, and exploiting
a drugged and broken underclass...
Decays brings this trilogy to a conclusion of sorts, although
a coda starring Lisa Bowerman's Bernice Summerfield - The
Plague Herds of Excelis - is still to come.
guest star Anthony Stewart Head modifies his performance yet
again as the latest incarnation of the villainous Warlord
Grayvorn, who is now known as Lord Vaughan Sutton. His higher-pitched
voice clearly indicates the immortal character's deepening
cast also includes Ian Collier, who previously lent his superbly
guttural vocal talents to the role of Omega in 1983's Arc
of Infinity, and Yee Jee Tso, who played Chang Lee in
the 1996 TV movie. It has to be said that Tso, who didn't
exactly shine in his under-written role in the movie, doesn't
really distinguish himself here either, injecting little feeling
into his performance as a young major. Tso could also have
done with raising the volume of his voice a little at times,
as could Collier and McCoy, because quite often their dialogue
is lost beneath some rather intrusive sound effects.
writer Craig Hinton has managed to tie up all the loose ends
from the previous two Excelis stories - making a connection,
for example, with the zombies in Excelis Dawns - parts
of his own narrative fail to make complete sense, and not
just because the sound effects are too loud. The dialogue
towards the end of the drama does not describe fully enough
the actions and whereabouts of certain characters, such as
how the Doctor manages to free a certain prisoner. I have
listened to the relevant tracks several times, but I still
haven't got the entire sense of what is supposed to be happening.
Not a very satisfying conclusion, then.